Lesson Transcript


Becky: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Becky and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Becky: In this Inner Circle, we’re talking about…
Peter: The Power of Big Decisions And Commitments
Becky: You’ll Learn...
Peter: One, How Big Commitments Turbocharge Your Learning
Becky: Two, How Peter Used “Commitments” to Ramp Up His Progress
Peter: And three, How You Can Apply This Tactic As Well
Becky: All so you can master your target language and reach your goals!
Becky: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned the 3 powerful lessons and habits...
Becky: ...that you’ll pick up at the gym... of all places. I liked that one, Peter.
Peter: Really? Why?
Becky: I like how achieving goals can be seen as just a matter of reps. It makes a goal, which is an invisible idea, seem so real and easy to do.
Peter: That’s a great point. Actually, a lot of Inner Circle members emailed in and said something similar.
Becky: Okay, well speaking of goals, your goals... It’s the end of October.
Peter: Just 2 months left in the year. So last time, I promised to finish 2 Chinese practice exams.
Becky: And?
Peter: Done.
Becky: Great! But you know....what’s the deal with the actual test, Peter?
Peter: You’re right. We’ve been talking practice tests and tactics this whole time.
Becky: Yeah, and it’s the ACTUAL Chinese proficiency exam that will decide if you succeed or fail.
Peter: And that’s why I made the commitment, Becky.
Becky: Peter.... but you’ve decided back in like January or February...
Peter: Becky, I mean... I actually registered for the test a few days ago. It’s called the HSK. I’m taking the 3rd level. I paid the fee.
Becky: Oh! Okay!
Peter: And I’m due to take it on November 26th, so the pressure is... on!
Becky: So is it like the Japanese Proficiency Test where you have to go to a test center? And see the fear on everyone’s face?
Peter: Actually, you get the option to do it online.
Becky: Oh, that’s good. I didn’t know you could do that.
Peter: It is! But you know... paying the cash, submitting the form...
Becky: You’ve sealed the deal. There’s no backing out.
Peter: But, Becky, that’s a HUGE motivator. I’ve been thinking about this test non-stop.
Becky: And... it’s the topic of today’s Inner Circle.
Peter: So let’s jump into the first part.
Becky: How Big Commitments Turbocharge Your Learning
Peter: Listeners, if you ever needed help with motivation...
Becky: ...or you were looking for a kick that would double your progress...
Peter: ...making a BIG commitment will do that for you... guaranteed.
Becky: So, like with you signing up for the exam?
Peter: Exactly. Since I signed up... paid the money, the date is set....
Becky: ...and you’re expected to take it, so you can’t back out.
Peter: I can’t. And I’m studying a lot more! All because of this.
Becky: So here’s what makes commitments so powerful..
Peter: ...for motivation and learning.
Becky: Listeners, first, commitments force you to take action...
Peter: In other words, you’re held accountable.
Becky: For example, if you have to take test, you can’t opt out.
Peter: Your name’s on the list...
Becky: .....and somebody’s expecting you there.
Peter: Or, if you do skip it, either you have to deal with a very angry teacher...
Becky: ...or you stand to lose the money you invested.
Peter: So as a result, you’re forced into action.
Becky: You study more. You practice more. And you improve faster.
Peter: Second, - and this one stems from the first point -
Becky: Commitments force you to have skin in the game. Or something to lose.
Peter: Losing is such a powerful motivator. In fact, psychology studies show that it HURTS more to lose 10 dollars than to gain 10 dollars. So every time something is taken away from you...
Becky: ...You’re going to fight hard to keep it... or avoid losing next time.
Peter: So, with the exam... you have the money on the line.
Becky: Or if you miss a skype lesson with your language teacher
Peter: ...you lose money.
Becky: ...AND maybe even your tutor if you skip a bit too much.
Peter: So, “losing” will also motivate you to work hard... especially, if you’ve lost before.
Becky: And three - like you said, Peter, when you make a big commitment...
Peter: it stays on top of your mind. It’s all you think about.
Becky: Listeners, here’s an example of an easier commitment but the lesson is the same.
Peter: Imagine you decided to take a vacation. You set the date.
Becky: You bought the plane tickets. You’ve scheduled time off from work.
Peter: And now, because you know when you’ll fly and where you’ll go, it’s so crystal clear...
Becky: ...that you cannot help but think about it.
Peter: And me signing up for that test is the same thing, Becky. It’s on my mind constantly. “I need to study. I need to practice listening. I need learn more words.”
Becky: ...and the more you think about it...
Peter: ...the more you do it. So, that in itself is powerful. It forces you to learn more.
Becky: So taking on big commitments… that have a hard deadline
Peter: ..,will turbocharge your learning. The pressure is powerful.
Becky: So what about you Peter?
Peter: Well, I’ve already signed up but I’ve used this tactic...
Becky: ...Making commitments...
Peter: ...in the past. I'll give you some examples. Let’s jump into the second part.
Becky: Part Two, How Peter Used “Commitments” to Ramp Up His Progress
Peter: The first example is an interesting one. I learned the power of commitments and “having something to lose” the hard way.
Becky: What do you mean?
Peter: Well, many years ago, when I was learning Chinese, I had an in-person tutor.
Becky: So, you signed up for a tutor and made the commitment. Nice.
Peter: Exactly...but, I also had a bit of a hard time getting to our sessions. It was kind of far and out of my way. One time, I skipped the session and didn’t notify her.
Becky. That can’t be good.
Peter: Becky, it was not. At our next session... before we even started. No niceties. No “how’ve you been?” No conversation. She got straight to business and charged me double the price. For that lesson. And for the missed lesson.
Becky: Oh wow.
Peter: And that hurt. Just a “hey, you messed up. You owe me money for that.” But, after that experience, I never missed a lesson again.
Becky: Then, that’s good. it worked!
Peter: It did. And I was able to get my Chinese to an Intermediate level with her.
Becky: And having something to lose motivated you to get even better.
Peter: Here’s a second example. I actually did this in November of last year while learning German.
Becky: Oh, when you signed up for an actual school, right?
Peter: Exactly.
Becky: Why did you do that again?
Peter: I was falling behind on my goal. For some reason, I had a hard time sticking to a routine. I think last year was kind of busy. So, knowing how powerful making a commitment is, especially signing up for a language school... I knew this would get me back on track.
Becky: Plus, you can’t reschedule or skip a class like you would with a tutor.
Peter: No, you cannot.
Becky: I bet it was expensive too. You didn’t skip classes like you did with Chinese, huh.
Peter: Becky, I learned my lesson well. The other thing about school is that... and if you’re a student, you’ll agree with me here - schools dictate your schedule.
Becky: They’re like an anchor point in your life.
Peter: Meaning, your life revolves around your goal - school and language learning...
Becky: ...instead of the other way around.
Peter: And it worked. I had to get up earlier. I had to leave work earlier. I had to make time for homework. And I was able to get back into my language learning routine. I reached 14 minutes of German conversation.
Becky: But didn’t you quit school like a month after?
Peter: I did but that was because I was back on track and back to using GermanPod101.
Becky: Got it. It served its purpose.
Peter: Exactly. I’ll give you one more example — but this one was an experiment.
Becky: Oh?
Peter: And I didn’t use it to ramp up my progress… but our learners.’
Becky: Alright, let’s hear it.
Peter: So, I was so inspired by my conflict with my Chinese tutor that we tried out an experiment on JapanesePod101 a few years ago. We launched a “Fluency At All Costs Bootcamp” for a small number of dedicated JapanesePod101 Premium members.
Becky: Did you charge them double the price... if they signed up too late?
Peter: Very funny, Becky. Not quite. They had the same exact access to all the features as regular Premium members. But there was a catch. Students that did not access the site at least once every 5 days were fined $10.
Becky: And they agreed to this. That’s crazy.
Peter: They did. We ran this experiment with a few, trusted members who understood the power of commitment and loss. We never advertised it.
Becky: So, what happened?
Peter: Want to guess what the average fine was?
Becky: Uhh, a hundred dollars?
Peter: Ten dollars. People who were fined once learned their lesson. And FAST. After that, they completed courses faster. Used the site longer. You name it, they did it better. Across the board they outperformed regular users.
Becky: Wow! So what about our listeners?
Peter: Becky, uh… we can’t offer bootcamp that again. That was a one-time thing. It is too much work for us..
Becky: Alright, so what can they take away from this?
Peter: Let’s jump into the 3rd part.
Becky: Part 3: How You Can Apply This As Well
Peter: Listeners, the good news is that by joining Premium or Premium PLUS...
Becky: ...you’ve already taken the first step.
Peter: You’ve committed and invested. So, you have something to lose IF you don’t take full advantage of the learning program.
Becky: Think of it this way, a monthly Premium subscription, with no discounts, is $25.
Peter: So based on that, approach your studies this way.
Becky: By not using our site, you’re losing your $25 investment every month.
Peter: Now, you are probably more likely to learn after looking at it that way, right?
Becky: That’s how you can harness the power of loss aversion as motivation.
Peter: The next thing you can do is.. Get a teacher. Someone that will hold you accountable.
Becky: Someone that expects you to come to a lesson.
Peter: ...and will get angry at you if you don’t show up!
Becky: And if you don’t have immediate access to one...
Peter: ...then try out a Premium PLUS subscription.
Becky: ...where you get full access to our learning program plus your own teacher
Peter: But the point is to have a someone that will give you feedback,
Becky: ...give you assignments...
Peter: ...and hold you accountable.
Becky: Also, if you’re a Premium PLUS user...
Peter: ...another thing you can do is... commit to doing assignments.
Becky: These assignments are sent to you by your teacher...
Peter: And guess what, they have deadlines. If you don’t take them, they’re gone.
Becky: ...and you lose access when they expire.
Peter: The other thing you’re losing is language learning progress.
Becky: Or listeners, like Peter, register for a test. That’s a serious commitment.
Peter: Even if your goal is just to speak with confidence, do it anyway.
Becky: Do it because having that pressure and that clear deadline....
Peter: ...will push you to learn even more.
Becky: Alright, Peter. Back to goals. What’s your goal for the month of November?
Peter: Well, the test is on the 26th. The goal is to pass it. So until then, I’ll be maintaining my routine...
Becky: Listening to ChineseClass101 lessons and doing Premium PLUS assignments?
Peter: ...And reviewing the the practice tests.
Becky: Sounds exciting! Listeners, let us know as well. What’s your goal for the month?
Peter: Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com.
Becky: And stay tuned for the next Inner Circle.


Becky: Well, that’s going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Becky: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.